After reading Jane Goodall’s Reason For Hope with Phillip Berman (also on PBS) I have new outlooks on things and realize that one person CAN make a difference. Jane has always been a hero of mine, as well as Steve Irwin. I have always had a soft spot for certain animals: chimpanzees, elephants, giraffes, birds, guinea pigs. I have a new appreciation for all kinds of creatures but especially chimpanzees.
She speaks of her time among the chimpanzees doing research and the amazing things she witnessed among the chimp families. They have 99% of our DNA. 99%! They eat, sleep, mate, have families, reason, and react in much the same way we do.
She talks about her experiences at laboratories where they conduct animal testing and how she is trying to make conditions better for all animals tested on. I have an enormous respect for the animals who are tested on for the sake of providing us humans with each and every drug on the market. It isn’t just chimpanzees or rats tested on. It is dogs, guinea pigs, mice, and more. She also takes a look at the meat we consume and the sometimes horrifying things done to these animals. I was literally sobbing after reading this section but I’m glad I did for it opened my eyes to things that I never would have known otherwise and I will make much more conscious decisions in what I eat and how often I eat meat moving forward.
She goes over the issue of overpopulation throughout the world and coming up with new and better ways to use the planet’s resources before we use them up completely. Often she speaks of God and how her belief system has guided her through the years.
There is a particular section that I felt best described what she was trying to get across.
“The trouble is that we suffer-all of us-from just me-ism. ‘I am just one person. What I do, or don’t do, can’t possibly make any difference. So why should I bother?’ Imagine: as more and more people around the world become aware of what is good and what is bad for the environment, and for society, this means there are thousands, then millions, then billions all thinking the same “It can’t make any difference what I do-it’s just me.” Think how it would be if we could turn that around….
“What would that area in town-the one that is such a disgrace-look like if every passing person picked up one piece of litter? Better still, if no one threw it in the first place. Think how much water would be saved if everyone turned off the tap while brushing their teeth and how much energy would be saved if we all switched off lights when we left a room…
“Imagine if no one bought cosmetics or household products that had been tested on animals? If everyone demanded eggs from freely roaming chickens…imagine the difference if everyone stopped eating meat-even for a couple of days a week. Because, if the demand were less, animals could be humanely farmed.”
I have always recycled, never litter, do not give money to circuses or other places that treat animals poorly, signed numerous petitions for change, wash my laundry with cold water, etc., however there is more I can do!
So for me, moving forward, I am only buying free range eggs (the more people who do, the more the cost will go down), I will pay attention to products that have been animal tested, I am turning off lights and unplugging constantly, I will try to carpool or take public transportation whenever possible and anything else I can think of to help sustain this planet for future generations and help create a better life to those animals who are sacrificed on a regular basis for us. I hope others will join me!